SUGAR GROVE – Members of the Waubonsee Community College rock band stood ready to run through their set for an upcoming show, the sound of guitars and drums beginning to increase.
"Yeah, it's gonna get loud," teacher Dave Seagren warned.
A few seconds later, the three guitarists, a bass player, a drummer and the singer were belting out their version of Weezer's "Say It Ain't So." And one of the coolest classes on Waubonsee's campus was in session.
The band will cap off its most recent session with a live performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the school's auditorium. The show is free. Waubonsee is at Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive in Sugar Grove.
Gibby Monokoski, a music teacher at Waubonsee, said he helped create the class in the 1980s, and – back then – it was a relatively new concept. Monokoski likened it to the movie "School of Rock," but in real life. He said it fits in with Waubonsee's mission.
"What we try to do as a community college is to have some real practical, hands-on things for people in the community," Monokoski said, adding the rock band is just one of several performing groups. There also is a jazz band and a steel drum band.
Seagren, the rock band's teacher, also was a student in the class in the 1980s. Seagren was a percussion major, and he plays several instruments. The rock band class experience was beneficial for him. He performs with the Tropical Sound Steelband, as well as another group, Steel Crazy. Another group, Hairball Willie, is set to reunite, he said.
Students earn credit for playing in the rock band, as they do for all of the performing groups at Waubonsee. The classes, Seagren said, can provide a lifetime of opportunities. He said years ago, such a thought might have been ridiculed.
"If someone told you in 1950 that you could get a degree in jazz, they'd have laughed at you," Seagren said.
Charles Morrison, the drummer of the Waubonsee rock band, was the first to arrive at last week's practice. He described the class as "pretty awesome."
"It has its own rock band feel," he said.
Morrison, a sophomore, said Monokoski approached him about joining the group last year, but Morrison said he was too busy. Morrison said he was glad it had worked out in his sophomore year, as it can help move him toward his goal of becoming a professional drummer. Morrison is a music major. He said he's a little nervous about Saturday's performance, "but I think we can pull it off."
In addition to Morrison, the group includes David Becvar (bass guitar), Michael Krzyzak (guitar), Luis Rodriguez (guitar), Bryan Tindall (guitar and vocals) and Mark Villaloboz (guitar). The band expects to play an eight-song set.
Seagren said there usually are two rock bands during a session, but there is one this time. For years, he said, there were classes in the daytime and the night. In the day classes were younger, traditional college-age students. At night, he said, there were older students who just wanted to play. He said he expects to have two sessions again in the future.